Gather 'Round the Blue Ridge Annual Meeting 2012

Thanks to our speakers!

The 2012 Gather 'Round the Blue Ridge was the most well attended ever, and our speakers and presenters were nothing short of outstanding!  We especially thank musician and storyteller David Holt, Secretary of the NC Department of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle, and Executive Director of the NC Arts Council Wayne Martin for highlighting the importance of the arts to the economy of our state, and especially celebrating the rich musical heritage of the mountains and foothills of Western North Carolina.


                        David Holt                                     Linda Carlisle                                Wayne Martin


Thanks to our sponsors!

Buncombe Co. logo


Thanks to our participants, musicians and silent auction donors!


speaker, musician and storyteller, had a lot of insightful information about the Roots of Mountain Music: "The Southern Mountains has long held the image of a place very slow to change. The mountains create a natural isolation and the people there are notoriously conservative, eager to hold on to tradition. Likewise, when people think of traditional mountain folksongs, they naturally think of an unchanging, static music with few outside influences.

But all the major influences that effected other music in America also effected the styles of traditional mountain music. In most parts of America songs of the Civil War, the minstrel and medicine shows, and early vaudeville have long since disappeared.

In the Southern Mountains these and other now obscure musical genres are still thriving in the traditional folk music of the region. The Southern Mountains is a microcosm of the musical influences that have occurred throughout the United States in the last two hundred years, but have long since disappeared in other areas of the nation.

All the songs we sing here today are versions of songs I have collected within the last 25 years in the Appalachian Mountains and all reflect some aspect of earlier American music."
To read more about David's knowledge of and passion for the music of our region, visit his website.




Transylvania Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) staff entertained before the event. Left to right: David Hamilton, Elizabeth Bahnson, Mike Ashworth, and Tim Gardner.











(Left) Blue Ridge Parkway Assistant Superintendent Monika Mayr and BRNHA board member Millie Barbee share in the celebration.

(Right) BRNHA Executive Director Angie Chandler gave a review of the work and successes of the Blue Ridge National Heritate Area during 2012.

(Below)  NC Arts Council Executive Director Wayne Martin takes to the stage to accompany David Holt in a lively traditional mountain music number.







 Thanks to those who gave such generous donations to our silent auction, and to those who gave generous bids, we raised nearly $1,100 to support the work of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership.  Thank you!

  • REI
  • WNCW
  • Star Forest Quilts/Barbara Webster                                              
  • Grandfather Mountain
  • Tweetsie Railroad
  • Southern Highlands Craft Guild
  • Brown's Pottery
  • Chetola Lodge
  • Navitat
  • Grove Park Inn
  • Mars Hill College
  • The Best Cellar Restaurant
  • Madison County Arts Council
  • Lake Eden Arts Festival
  • HandMade in America
  • Chimney Rock Park
  • CD's Custom Woodworks
  • Great Smoky Mountain Railroad
  • Anna Fariello
  • Mast General Stores

 Related News

  • Blue Ridge Music Trails—Secretary Carlisle and Wayne Martin presented the results of a study that was undertaken to measure the economic impact of traditional music in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area region.  To read the Executive Summary of the study results, which showed an impact of more than $20 million, click here.  The study was funded in part by a grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership.
  • Western North Carolina Vitality IndexAs part of the day's presentations, Jim Fox, Director of RENCI at UNC-Asheville, provided an overview of the Western North Carolina Vitality Index, which was sponsored in part by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership, and which is now being used as a model for research being done in a larger region.  This online indexreports on the 27 counties of Western North Carolina through the perspectives of the region’s natural, social, built, and economic environments, and is designed to assist local governments, interest groups, and the public in making informed decisions that affect our region.  The story is reported in the Winston-Salem Journal.
  • Updates on the activities and success stories of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area by Angie Chandler.
  • Grant update from Yadkin Valley Heritage Corridor by Helen Ruth Almond and the Transylvania County JAM program by Elizabeth Bahnson.